Butt acne: causes, treatment tips and how to get rid of acne scars
Although it’s often an overlooked problem and almost never discussed out in the open unlike other beauty concerns, butt acne, or more affectionately termed “buttne”, is a condition that affects most adults and can cause quite a bit of frustration.
Because it’s not an openly discussed subject, many people don’t know how to deal with it, what causes it and how to get rid of butt acne and the pigmentation it leaves behind. Even though it isn’t as visible and annoying as pimples on your face, it can make you feel uneasy, especially when going to the beach or being intimate with your partner.
I’m quite invested in this story, so I’ve taken the time to write about how pimples on my buttocks afflicted me, what sort of methods I’ve tried and didn’t help, what might be causing butt acne in your case and also provide treatment tips on how to get rid of acne scars and blemishes. You’ll also be able to find links to some of the best products out there to treat butt acne and body acne in general, so scroll down if you’re ready to take action and find remedies for acne scars once and for all.
Causes and prevention
How to get rid of butt acne
Best sonic cleansing brushes for exfoliating
Best cleansers for butt acne with Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide
Treatment and solutions
How to get rid of butt acne scars
DIY Home Remedies
I’ve had butt acne for as long as I can remember, ever since puberty hit. As soon as the apocrine glands became active, sweat began to be a problem for me and I had to deal with the whole spectrum of issues that followed – irritation at best and body acne at worst.
Combine that with the fact that acne breakouts are a common symptom of menstruation and using pads for your monthly cause friction and lock in sweat, and you’ll get the full picture. Breakouts occurred, butt acne scars followed for the rest of the month, period reoccurs and the whole cycle repeats itself.
At first it didn’t bother me quite so much, as I felt there was nothing I could do about it. Only later in life, when I switched to tampons thinking I will finally get rid of butt acne once and for all, had I discovered that although it improved, the issue did not disappear and I had to take a more serious course of action.
I started researching the subject and discovered that I was not alone in my endeavor. Apparently many women who work out are searching for treatments for butt acne. This raised a very important flag for me and made me realize that the cause of my affliction was a combination of heat, moisture, friction and bacteria that creates the perfect environment for breakouts to occur.
Dermatologists soon confirmed this idea, providing an even clearer explanation why this happens and giving me tips on how to treat butt acne and how to prevent it in the future.
Causes and prevention for butt acne
Although blemishes on your buttocks share much resemblance to body acne, they are not technically considered that. Acne is usually classified as a facial, back and chest eruption, whereas the pimples on your butt are most often caused by one or two problems:
Folliculitis – which is the inflammation of a hair follicle and can occur anywhere on the body. Although it most frequently occurs on the upper arms and legs, it can appear anywhere friction from tight clothing traps sweat in pores and causes a bacterial infection.
Carbuncles (boils) – usually happen when folliculitis isn’t treated and the knots of sebum under the skin become a deeper infection. The pimples are more painful, similar to acne cysts.
Having acne on your face and torso does not necessarily mean you are more likely to have folliculitis or carbuncles on your butt. However, the same way pimples form on your face because of dirt and oil, butt acne can happen because of bacteria that gets trapped in your clothing.
With that in mind, it’s clear that the most frequent causes of butt acne are:
As I tried to explain before, sweat if the basically the trigger that causes pimples on your buttocks to appear. Sweat that sits on the body for extended periods of time before you shower creates the perfect environment for bacteria to exacerbate acne.
Unfortunately, women who work out are particularly prone to this condition. Wearing tight clothing that isn’t breathable, such as generic yoga pants, is a major cause of concern. In this case, sweat and bacteria is trapped against the skin, causing irritation and blemishes.
We all love nice lingerie, right? The sad truth is that the main culprit for getting blemishes on your buttocks is precisely thongs and synthetic lingerie. They cause friction and lock in sweat, both of which contribute to pimples. This brings me to my previous point – if you’re wearing a thong and tight clothing, then there’s no barrier between your buttocks and your clothes that are soaked in bacteria.
For this reason, the first adjustment to my lifestyle was switching to cotton underwear whenever I’m working out or wearing tight clothing. Yes, it was a challenge, but such is life.
It your problem is folliculitis, then most often pimples appear because of dry skin. In this case, regular acne treatment – that decreases activity of the sebaceous glands – will not help, however a light moisturizer will. Remember that heavy lotions or creams also clog pores, so either choose products that sink fast into the skin, or spend the extra time allowing it to do so before putting on your clothes.
If you’ve tried moisturizing, improved your hygiene, your skin care routine and started wearing breathable fabrics, and it still did not help, you may need to see a doctor. Allergies and other skin afflictions, problems with the digestive system or hormonal imbalances could be to blame for your pimples.
How to get rid of butt acne
As I mentioned before, cleanliness is how you get rid of butt acne and although this may mean you have to slightly change your routine, it doesn’t imply you’ll waste too much time in managing your affliction.
The key is taking hot showers to open up pores, to use exfoliants to clear away dead skin and bacteria trapped inside and hydrate your skin with a light moisturizer.
After you exercise or just sweat in the clothes you’ve been wearing, change out of then as quickly as possible, so that sweat and bacteria doesn’t start to clog the pores. Go take a hot shower, in order to open up pores and clear away any dirt and bacteria that form acne.
Best Sonic Cleansing Brush for Exfoliating your face & body
To remove any sweat, bacteria and dead skin cells that may be sitting on the surface of the skin, I recommend you combine the BHA chemical exfoliant with a mechanical exfoliant, such as a loofah, a puff or the more effective sonic cleansing brush.
Clarisonic Smart Profile Face and Body Sonic Cleansing Brush
The Smart Profile Face and Body Brush from Clarisonic is the most popular sonic brush on the market and you can get yours from here. Designed to cleanse the skin on your face and remove makeup 11x better than hands alone in just 60 seconds, as well as the skin on your body with a larger brush head. They work to unclog pores, cleanse, exfoliate, allow for a better absorption of skin treatments that treat body acne and butt acne in particular.
Rio Sonicleanse Exfoliating, Cleansing and Smoothing System
Like all the brushes we tested, the Sonicleanse can be used in the shower for a quick and effective daily exfoliation. This model has 44,000 soft bristles working for a deep-pore cleanse and pulsates at an incredible 10,000 oscillations a minute to gently loosen dirt and oil for a deeper, far more effective clean.
This deep clean targets the appearance of pores, oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes. Basically, it provides everything you need to get rid of your butt acne as well as the acne scars and pigmentation left on your buttocks. Get yours from Amazon.
Hangsun Advanced Waterproof Socin Cleansing System SC200
Hangsun SC200 Sonic Cleansing Brush uses a sonic frequency of more than 300 oscillations per second to deeply cleanse the skin far more effectively, yet more gently, than traditional cleansing brushes. It helps remove impurities and acne, clear pores and exfoliating tough skin, so it’s perfect for using on your buttocks to clear up butt acne and scars. You can purchase it online from here.
Labsonic Sonic Cleansing Brush
Labsonic offers a versatile brush that comes with four interchangeable attachments to tackle exfoliation as well as skin hydration. Skincare products sunk into the skin more efficiently and there was a real improvement on the overall skin radiance.
ToiletTree Skin Cleansing System Facial Brush & Body care kit
This water-resistant rotating facial and body brush from ToiletTree is essential for deep cleansing and exfoliating. Get your online now if you’re dealing with body and butt acne scars and you’re looking for a product that stimulates skin renewal and improves skin clarity in the long run.
The system care kit includes two face exfoliators (one soft for sensitive skin types and one medium for normal skin types), one body exfoliator and one pumice sphere for your feet.
Best butt acne cleansers with Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid
Regardless if you’re planning to purchase a sonic cleansing brush or not that could aid you in the exfoliating process, each time you shower, you should use an acne cleanser on your buttocks that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
These are acne treatment ingredients found in many products that help treat pimples and blemishes, as they dry out the skin and have antibacterial properties.
If you choose to go down this route, keep in mind that products containing benzoyl peroxide bleach your towels, so switch to white towels.
Depending upon the severity of the butt acne you have, look for washes with acid percentages of 3% and up. Here is a list of the best cleansers on the market, that will help you prevent butt acne in the future and clear up the existing pimples.
Careful not to use a 10% benzoyl peroxide wash if you have dry or sensitive skin, as it will most likely cause flaking and a burning sensation. If that occurs, stop the treatment immediately. Regardless of your skin type, always use a deep moisturizer after using a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid wash.
Humane Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Acne Wash for face and body
The more percentage of Benzoyl Peroxide, the stronger the effect of clearing moderate to severe acne. This wash from Humane contains 10%, the most you’ll be able to get without a prescription. It clears the skin and prevents future breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria.
What’s great about this product is the fact that the benzoyl peroxide particles are finely milled to be smaller than 10 microns, allowing it to be pulled into the pores for a deep cleanse. Purchase yours online today to get rid of existing blemishes, pimples, whiteheads and blackheads and prevent new ones from forming.
Topix Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Wash
This Topix body wash is recommended by many dermatologists for fighting butt acne. Combined with 10% benzoyl peroxide for treatment of acne, it’s as powerful as they get, eliminating the main cause of pimples. You can purchase it from here and use it as a face/body wash if you have moderate to severe acne. Rinse thoroughly and moisturize afterwards.
Beauty Facial Extreme Benzoyl Peroxide 5% Acne Cleanser
The 5% micronized Benzoyl Peroxide wash from Beauty Facial Extreme is not as strong as the ones I mentioned above, however, I’d still recommend is as an advanced solution for those with moderate acne. It clears the pores, removes dead skin cells and bacteria, reducing excess oil at the same time. Also, it does not over dry or cause redness and irritation, but I’d still advise you to use a good moisturized if you decide upon it and want to purchase it.
Panoxyl 4% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Creamy Wash
Although it only contains 4% of the acne fighting ingredient, this is a strong body cleanser and excessive drying of the skin may occur. Start with one application daily, then gradually increase to 2 or 3 times if needed or directed by your doctor. Also, if you’re planning on going outside, always use a sunscreen with these types of products.
Create Cosmetics Acne Treatment 3% Benzoyl Peroxide and Tea Tree Oil
This amazing formula by Create Cosmetics caters to those with mild to moderate acne, zits, blemishes, spots, cysts and whiteheads. By aiding in skin renewal, it also helps clear out butt acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
The tea tree oil acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient and helps the Benzoyl Peroxide penetrate deeper into the skin, making it more effective and less drying than other water based formulas. It also contains macadamia oil, vitamin A, B and E, shea butter and jojoba oil, as well as witch hazel, all very good ingredients for soothing and moisturizing the skin, so order yours now.
Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Kit 2% Salicylic Acid & 5% Benzoyl Peroxide
Paula’s Choice is my go-to brand for any type of skin condition and naturally, it doesn’t disappoint with this 2% salicylic acid and 5% benzoyl peroxide formula. This kit contains a gentle cleanser that dissolves oil, dead skin cells and unclogs pores, an exfoliating solution that exfoliates and has anti-bacterial properties and a clearing treatment, for preventing stubborn acne. I totally recommend this. Try the trial size first and see how it goes.
Peter Thomas Roth BHA 2% Acne Wash
Another product I trust and love is the Peter Thomas Roth 2% salicylic acid cleanser. It’s gentle, oil, dye, fragrance and alcohol-free and it lathers beautifully so even those with sensitive skin can use it as a treatment for face and body acne. Try it out and you’ll never use another body wash again!
Obagi Clenziderm M.D Daily Care Foaming Cleanser 2% Salicylic Acid
Another highly praised by dermatologists salicylic acid cleanser is this 2% active ingredient formula from Obagi. It truly cleans the skin so well of dirt, bacteria, as well as makeup, so it’s super safe to use as a makeup remover as well. You can also follow up with Clenziderm MD Pore Therapy, another great product from the brand.
Murad Clarifying Cleanser 1.5% Salicylic Acid
This powerful yet gentle cleanser from Murad combats acne and skin breakouts. Its gel formula contains 1.5% salicylic acid and is ideal for sensitive skin. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean, so you can use it as a long-term cleanser and it’s perfect for multiple showers a day.
Vichy Normaderm Daily Deep Cleansing Gel with Salicylic Acid
Vichy combined salicylic acid, glycolic acid and micro-exfoliating LHA with the trademark mineral-rich volcanic water, in order to create a cleansing gel for acne-prone skin, that doesn’t cause excessive dryness or irritation. Get this if you’re looking for a gentle, soap-alcohol-paraben-free body wash to help with your butt acne.
Butt Acne treatment and solutions
If acne wash and exfoliation aren’t doing the trick, take things up a notch by using butt acne lotion or cream as a spot treatment, to target specific areas.
After you shower, make sure to dry yourself off thoroughly and apply the lotion in a thin layer on the whole area or as a spot treatment. Allow the ointment a few minutes to sink into the skin and dry before putting your clothes back on, as those containing benzoyl peroxide may bleach your clothes.
Find an ointment that contains benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid. Many of these are available over the counter from brands such as Clearasil and Proactive. A dermatologist can also write you a prescription for an antibacterial cream like Clindamycin and in more extreme cases, like severe butt acne and cysts, even prescribe Accutane.
Before you cross that bridge though, you may want to try a lotion that was scientifically developed for this purpose of eliminating buttocks breakouts.
Green Heart Labs Butt Acne Clearing Lotion
This lotion contains gentle exfoliating Alpha-hydroxy acids that promote skin renewal, while intense moisturizing your buttocks. It promises drastic day-after-day improvements upon the pimples that you have and helps soothe the skin with aloe, calendula and arnica. The Green Heart Labs lotion is pH balanced for the sensitive skin of the butt and suitable for other areas of the body like back, thighs, and shoulders and you can get yours at Amazon.
Benzoyl Peroxide Ointment
Use a cotton pad and benzoyl peroxide ointment to target specific areas or apply a thin film to the entire area. Be aware that benzoyl peroxide can very much dry out your skin, so you may need an oil-free moisturizer to keep things smooth.
If benzoyl peroxide is too strong, you can try a product that contains salicylic acid. The best time to perform this step is just before bedtime. Regular application should clear up any acne within five to seven days.
Treatment with Iodine
Another option for treating pimples on your buttocks is iodine. This treatment is most appropriate for disinfecting already-inflamed zits and pustules. Apply using a cotton bud on the blemish itself and not on the skin around it, since it might make the skin even drier. You can use this treatment no more than twice a day, but once should be enough to get rid of your butt acne in a few days.
Lotion with AHA
Lactic Acid is just one of the main acne treating chemical compounds known as alpha hydroxy acids. Other ingredients worth looking out for in formulas include glycolic acid (from sugar cane), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine). Lotions with these natural exfoliating ingredients can be helpful to treat blemishes and pimples on your butt that fall into the category of folliculitis.
If you don’t have sensitive skin, you can use AHA daily, but if you are consistent, it will take a couple of weeks to see results. If you don’t see results, however,, a dermatologist can prescribe a combination of products to clear up your skin, usually a topical antibiotic that’s applied to the affected area
The most important thing to remember is not to pop any pimples or puncture carbuncles on your own, as this can lead to scarring and leave your skin open to infection and more irritation. Because carbuncles go deeper, treatment is more intensive. You may be given an oral antibiotic to fight the infection. Your dermatologist may also need to lance, or pierce, the boil to drain the accumulated pus in a safe, sterile setting. The area will then be covered with a bandage.
How to get rid of butt acne scars
Clearing away dead skin cells by using exfoliating products and applying butt acne treatment lotions like the ones I suggested above will help your skin regenerate, which will help get rid of butt acne scars.
By sticking to this routine for at least 3 months, you’ll notice that your skin is less prone to breakouts and that scarring begins to fade. However, in terms of getting rid of the hyperpigmentation, it takes quite a lot of time for complete skin renewal, about a whole year. So the key is to be patient and treat any new pimple aggressively.
Moisturizing, like I mentioned throughout this article, is highly important, not only because some of the recommendations tend to dry out your skin quite harshly, but also because using a good moisturizer on the affected area might also solve the problem and prevent future breakouts.
Avoid using heavy lotions that clog your pores, as this will make the matter ever worse. Make sure everything is non-comedogenic and check out the ingredients list to see if it contains something you might be allergic to. It goes without saying that the best moisturizing lotion should be perfume and alcohol-free.
Try a tea tree moisturizing lotion, that has anti-bacterial properties and is highly effective on irritated and distressed skin.
Hydrate with Essential Oils
If you’re a big fan of essential oils like I am, moisturize your buttocks using the same amazing cold-pressed oil you use on the rest of your body. Moisturize with tea tree oil, coconut oil, sea buckthorn oil or tamanu oil. These natural oils not only moisturize the skin, but they also have anti-bacterial properties that can help fight one of the causes of folliculitis – trapped bacteria.
I prefer to use coconut oil on everything, as it contains fatty acids that have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, help to repair the skin barrier and reduce inflammation. Check out the many uses of coconut oil in this article I wrote.
Use 4% Hydroquinone lotions
There are many excellent options to consider when looking for a skin lightening cream that works, most of them containing active ingredients such as Azelaic Acid, Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid, Tretinoin, and Arbutin.
A lotion containing 4% hydroquinone may help, but don’t use if for more than 4-6 months to avoid possible irreversible worsening of the pigmentation. Read this piece on “Skin lighting creams, gels and lotions” before you decide on the active ingredient that’s best for you.
Kojic acid Treatment
Kojic acid is commonly used as a skin whitening agent in concentrations of 1in most skin lightening creams and lotions and cleansers. Because it’s also an antibacterial agent, it interferes with the processes that bacteria cells must perform to thrive and reproduce. By disrupting these processes, kojic acid causes the death of bacteria. If you want to find the best Kojic acid cream or cleanser for you, check out this article full of suggestions and order yours online.
Home remedies for butt acne
As I’m sure you know by now, as we reached the end of this topic, some of the most powerful active ingredients that fight butt acne are salicylic acid (derived from aspirin) and alpha hydroxy acids, that can be naturally found in apples, citrus fruits and grapes.
If you have a mild skin pigmentation concern on your buttocks and you don’t mind getting messy, there are some homemade remedies that can help the skin exfoliate and promote renewal. Lemon, yeast apple vinegar, raw potatoes can be efficient treatments for butt acne. Apply the lemon zest or the vinegar with a cotton pad on the buttocks and leave on for about 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
For an even greater result, crush five aspirin pill and combine with the lemon juice and a dollop of honey or plain yogurt, depending on your preference. Apply a thin layer over the entire surface and allow the mask to dry before rinsing it off.
What other butt acne remedies have you tried? Share your experience in the comment section below.